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Our approach and science capital

With awe-inspiring authentic objects, cutting-edge science stories and hands-on activities, we celebrate and showcase the past, present and future of science and technology. Our museums are places where people of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to explore the wonder of science and where attitudes towards STEM can be positively influenced.

The Science Museum Group’s learning vision is ‘to enrich the lives of a large and diverse audience by igniting their curiosity in science’. This vision is delivered through our learning approach and activities and is shaped by research-informed best practice to help us maximize the impact of our experiences for the widest possible audiences.

Science capital informed best practice

Science engagement is at the heart of what we do and we are using the concept of science capital to provide us with a research-based insight into what influences and shapes people’s engagement with and attitudes towards science.

The Science Museum Group have been working with King’s College London and University College London on the Enterprising Science project since 2012, using the concept of science capital to understand how people from all backgrounds engage with science and how their engagement might be increased through different formal and informal science-related experiences such as visiting museums and science centres.

Science capital is a measure of your engagement or relationship with science, how much you value it and whether you feel it is ‘for you’ and connected with your life. It recognises the significance of what you know, how you think, what you do and who you know in shaping your relationship with science.

Whether behind the scenes or in a public-facing role, we recognise that all our staff play their part in creating welcoming, relevant and inspiring experiences for our audiences. As such we have been putting an organisation-wide effort into translating the science capital research informed best practice into operational realities.

It is about looking critically at how we work every day, how we create an environment that reflects our visitors’ perspectives and life experiences. By doing that, we hope that we will give more people more chances to recognise that science is something that is useful and valuable in their lives, now and in the future.

Transforming practice seminar and blog

In October 2015 we held our first ‘Transforming Practice’ seminar at the Science Museum, London, to introduce the value of science capital research and our work translating it into practice. Download a copy of the seminar report

You can also read about our journey and reflections on applying research into our practice in our Transforming Practice blog

For further information, email us